Is the dementia rate increasing in Beijing? Prevalence and incidence of dementia 10 years later in an urban elderly population


Shuran Li, Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Huayuanbeilu No.51., Beijing 100083, China.


Objective:  To examine the time trend of dementia morbidity over the past decade in Beijing, China.

Method:  In 1997, 1593 community-dwelling elderly aged 60+ years were examined and followed-up over 2-years to identify incident dementia. A similar cohort study of dementia conducted in the same district 10 years prior was used as historical comparison to examine the time trend of dementia incidence.

Results:  Forty prevalent dementia cases were identified at the initial examination for a prevalence of 2.51% (95% CI: 1.74–3.28) and 25 incident cases were identified at the follow-up visit for an incidence of 0.90% (0.55–1.25) among residents aged 60+ years. Alzheimer's dementia (AD) was the most common type of dementia in both prevalent and incident cases.

Conclusion:  The prevalence and incidence rates of dementia in Beijing were slightly higher than those 10 years ago, which was partly because of population aging. AD became the most common subtype of dementia.